Tag Archives: river

Yangshuo, Gumdrops of My Dreams

Yangshuo, in northeastern Guangxi Province, is a part of China that everyone should see. Magnificent gumdrop hills dot the landscape. You can climb to the top of some of these peaks for great views of the region. This is also where many traditional Chinese artists gain their inspiration. Quite often, those beautiful paintings of emerald hills and frothy waterfalls are made in the villages along the Li River. The journey from the giant southern cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen takes less than a day. If you want to relax for a weekend, Yangshuo is a great bet.

Read More »

Moerdaoga: Tracing the Great Khan's Footsteps

According to legend, early in the thirteenth century a nomadic tribal leader went on a hunting expedition to a mountain at the eastern edge of the Eurasian Steppe. As he stood on the summit, the spectacular view of the surrounding grasslands and forests inspired him. The man suddenly realized his desire to unify all of the tribes in the region. He gazed at the golden sunrise and commanded to his tribesmen, “Moerdaoga!” – “Ride into the battle on your horses!” The man's name was Genghis Khan, and this land would soon fall under his rule.

Read More »

Seattle Bound

My next stop was to be Seattle, and I had come on this trip without any flights or hotel rooms booked. My lack of planning came in handy: Cathi Jo, one of the rafters in our group, was driving to Seattle that afternoon. We loaded our stuff into her car, said goodbye to the Madison contingent and made our way to I-90 for the last leg of my cross-country road trip...… Read More »

Paradise Camp

We had the rest of the day to relax, cliff jump, fish and watch the looks of disappointment as the other rafters passed us (the happy campers actually existed, and they were hung over)...… Read More »

The Longest Day

I navigated around a few rocks, fighting hard against the current, trying to stay left. This effort proved futile as the current dragged my boat to the right, turning me perpendicular to the river. I slammed against a rock and water rushed over me. I tried the counter-intuitive method of leaning into the rock so that the current would safely flow under my boat and shove me free. The hydraulic was too strong, though, and I got “window-shaded” – thrown upside-down as the current grabbed my upstream edge...… Read More »

More Dangerous than a Rattlesnake

Water dribbled onto my head, waking me up in the middle of the night. Startled, I looked around and quickly realized that it was raining. I rolled over and wrapped my tarp around my body, figuring I could tough it out. Then a flash of lightning lit up the sky, followed by a loud thunderclap. Several other tents glowed as their occupants scrambled to put on their flys while wearing their headlamps...… Read More »

Launching on the Selway

The river's crystal-clear water trickled gently next to us, not betraying the massive hydraulics that lurked a few miles downstream. I understood that the dusty road above us would be the last one we would see for the next several days. In fact, there would be no towns, or even houses, along the way. The Selway is one of the most pristine rivers remaining in the United States. Each year, only sixty-one groups are granted permits to run it, and this year we were lucky enough to get one. When we were sure that we were ready, Dan gave a short river talk, mainly letting us know that safety was our top priority, and we were off...… Read More »

Preparing for the Selway

Our Selway group was sixteen strong, a mishmash of current and former Hoofers. Everyone in our group who was already in Missoula met at the Montgomery Distillery. Most of us dressed up, and as I sipped my “Go Gingerly” cocktail, I had a hard time picturing the group in our element, kayaking down a whitewater river, eating dehydrated meals out bags and going a week without showering...… Read More »